Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Losing your job? How to act with inspiration rather than desperation

In today's economy, the sad fact is that a number of people out there (maybe you?) are going to lose their jobs when they really didn't want to through redundancies and layoffs.

What are the best ways of moving on? Here are some practical tips: I've been redundant three times in my career and I reckon I'm getting expert at picking myself up, dusting myself off and moving on!

Step 1: Think of a reason why this happened and decide to believe it.

No matter how confident you are, losing a job always makes you question and doubt yourself. Or worse; blame your situation or the colleagues at your former employer. Neither is constructive. The best thing to do is to analyse why this happened and de-personalise it. Think of the overall situation - maybe economic reasons, your company had out of date products and services, too many staff who were not busy and productive enough. Find a reason why and accept it - then you can move on.

Step 2: Split your decision making into two: earning money and future career.

The high level advice on deciding what to do with your career and your life is good, but is not always practical when bills need to be paid. Decide on two things to do. Firstly:
  • What are you going to do to support yourself or your family financially in the short term? This might include reducing expenditure, workign out how long any final payments from your employer might last, taking a short term temporary job in order to support yourself while you sort out what to do next. Lots of people focus only on trying to find some kind of ideal and altruistic existence and create more of a crisis for themselves in the long term as supporting themselevs and their family goes unaddressed.

  • What do your really want to do with your career? This requires more long term thought and might include seeking a similar position elsewhere or making a radical change of direction - or something in between.

By separating these two questions, you can give yourself permission to take a job for short term money, even if it isn't perfect for the long term, and leave yourself space to thing more clearly about your future and what you really want to do.

This approach has many benefits - not least because it removes the sense of panic and allows you to search from a mindset of inspiration rather than desperation.

Watch for more instalments on this topic!

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